Friday, July 29, 2005

Digital Signage Acquisitions

Consolidation activity is heating up in the digital signage space.

French Company Thomson to Acquire San Francisco Based PRN Corporation. Story here.
PRN manages in-store television networks in over 6,000 locations across leading retailers including Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Costco, Albertsons; Best Buy and Circuit City. All locations are in North America. The purchase price is approximately $285 million payable in cash, including a normalized level of working capital. This acquisition furthers Thomson's expansion into the implementation and management of video networks. PRN will be part of Thomson's Network Operations Services business unit in the Services Division.

3M to buy Mercury Online Solutions for an undisclosed amount. Story here.
Under the terms of the deal. Mercury will remain headquartered in Bainbridge Island, near Seattle, while reporting to 3M’s Commercial Graphics Division, according to 3M spokesperson Donna Fleming. Fleming sees the acquisition as a way to accelerate the company’s entry into an “exciting and rapidly-growing marketplace”, by combining Mercury’s skills and processes with 3M’s global reach. “The addition of Mercury Online Solutions Inc.’s digital-signage networks is a natural extension of 3M’s existing graphics business and allows us to use our global services platform,” said Robert Doughty, division VP of 3M’s Commercial Graphics Division.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

WPP Consolidates Mediaedge and MindShare Into New Outdoor Media Giant

WPP Group is once again consolidating components of its massive media services organization to dominate an important, emerging market - out-of-home - which is expanding rapidly as it becomes infused by new digital technologies, measurement systems and new place-based venues, which have analysts projecting it will be one of the fastest growing sectors over the next several years.

Finally -- Digital signage has been recognized as a media product in the out-of-home category.

A survey conducted by the American Association of Advertising Agencies earlier this year projected out-of-home would be the hottest ad medium in 2005 - surpassing everything except for online and branded content - among the AAAA's membership.

Read the entire story.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Focus Media Initial Public Offering

As we reported in October of 2004, Focus media (a digital signage network) follows through with initial public offerring on the NASDAQ exchange.

Focus Media Holding IPO prices above range; audiovisual television displays in China (FMCN) 17.00 :Focus Media Holding prices its IPO at $17, above the expected range of $14-$16. The co operates the largest out-of-home advertising network in China using audiovisual television displays instead of traditional billboards to broadcast advertising. Its network was located in 70% of commercial buildings surveyed in 13 cities across China, including 72% of the commercial buildings in Beijing. The co believes its significant market share, combined with the exclusivity and renewal terms contained in over 90% of its agreements with landlords, creates high barriers to entry. Its displays are placed primarily in high-traffic areas of commercial office buildings such as in lobbies and near elevators, as well as in large retail chain stores. The advertising market in China is one of the largest and fastest growing in the world. The co is profitable and 2004 revenues were $29.2 mln, up from $3.8 mln in 2003... The Chinese IPO market has been all over the board, with Shanda (SNDA) being a huge success, but China Fin Online (JRJC) not doing so well. However, FMCN's growth, market share, favorable contracts, and small deal size of 10.1 mln makes this attractive for traders. Goldman is the lead underwriter. If this IPO does well, expect its chief competitor, Target Media, to make its debut late this year or early next.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Webpavement Meets the Needs in Education

Sound and Communications recently published an article (2MB pdf) written by Dawn Allcott detailing the implementation of Webpavement digital signage technology at the University of Houston - Downtown. Allcott did a nice job describing the use of digital signage in education, the university's requirements and reasons why Webpavement was the right fit for UHD's digital signage network.

When UHD turned to Webpavement they already had a firm grasp over the audio/visual components they would be using in their digital signage network. The focus was then placed on software requirements, features and capabilities. Ultimately UHD chose to purchase preconfigured Webpavement media players and Webpavement e20 Sign Server to meet their stringent requirements. All components were shipped preconfigured to UHD's requirements - ready for plug and play installation and training was conducted remotely. In this very successful implementation Webpavement resources never had to come on site. Here is the press release.

Other clients have a need for greater involvement with the audio/visual components and design of their network. Rest assured Webpavement has the experts on staff to assist in these areas also as we did with the digital signage network implementation at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. No matter how large or small your digital signage needs are - turn to Webpavement and you'll be glad you did. Contact the Webpavement team of digital signage experts to discuss your specific project requirements.